Yesterday was the last day of my 4 day weekend. It began with a 9 mile trail run, some token cleaning around the house, a Christmas tree picked out and placed in it's stand, Discovery Channel and Yoga. I am far from being a true Yogi, as one who practices yoga consistently and regularly. When I first tried yoga in my early 20's, my generally "on the go" body and mind could barely stand 15 minutes of all that wholesome quietude. Many, many years later I am beginning to embrace the one hour lesson that incorporates stretching, quiet, openness, focus, flexibility, and sitting and being with my emotions.
That last lesson was the surprise. Several months ago, in the middle of yoga class, tears started rolling down my face. At first I was embarrassed. I glanced around the room to see everyone else seeming to peacefully proceed with their asanas. I wondered if I should leave and have a moment to myself. I chose to stay, to stay in the class, and to stay with that emotion. As the tears rolled on, I kept on moving from pose to pose. I don't remember specifically what brought on the emotion during that class, but it happened again, during yesterday afternoon's yoga class.
Tears surfaced as I moved from one heart opener to another. As I reached back my head, and pulled down my shoulders, there it was. Tension. This tension is more than a simple tightness in my pectoralis muscles. It's more than my inability to gracefully and acrobatically arch my back. It's more than my hesitation to lift my chin toward the sky. A deep ache, constriction, and rigidity reside in my heart place. When I challenge this place to physically open, widen, and to take in fresh air, it weeps. Actually, maybe my heart chakra is sweating. Sweating, like when you're antibodies are fighting a virus that has invaded your body. When you're feverish and uncomfortable, shivering under a mound of blankets, sweating. When your body is teetering between a rapture of sickness or health. Maybe my heart center is just fighting off some (if I may borrow Miranda Lambert's lyrics here) "nobody's unforgotten words" and deeds. Maybe with each bead of sweat, or tear, the grip on those unforgotten hurts get released down my cheek, onto my mat, and squashed by my feet as I move into the next asana.
Yoga now has my full attention and appreciation. As I mentioned earlier, Yoga, more than any other activity it has provided a path for me to BE with my emotions, whatever they may be and wherever they may come from.